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Rutgers softball falls to Wisconsin in Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals

Fifth-year pitcher Mattie Boyd gave up three earned runs in the Rutgers softball team's 7-3 loss to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday.  – Photo by / Matthew Putney

The Rutgers softball team suffered a 7-3 loss to Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night. The Scarlet Knights (33-22,14-9) came into the tournament as the No. 3 seed, but the No. 11 seeded Badgers (21-30, 8-15) earned the upset win to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. 

Wisconsin took an early 1-0 thanks to a single from Hilary Blomberg, scoring Danielle Lucey

Rutgers was able to tie things up in the fourth, as senior infielder Megan Herka grounded out to second base and scored senior outfielder Kayla Bock

The Badgers brought in a quartet of runs in the next inning, resulting in a comfortable lead that the Knights would not be able to overcome. Wisconsin took advantage of fielding errors and capped off a dominant inning with a homer from Blomberg. 

Graduate student infielder Payton Lincavage tried to stop the bleeding at Rutgers’ next at-bat, bringing in a run to cut the deficit to three with two innings left to play. 

In the seventh, Blomberg continued her dominance at the plate with another base hit to bring in two more runs. 

Senior utility player Kobie Hura knocked in a third run for the Knights in the final frame, but that was all the team could muster as it was eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament. 

Fifth-year pitcher Mattie Boyd pitched the entire game, throwing five strikeouts and giving up three earned runs off five hits. Boyd fell to 19-10 on the season. 

Despite its early exit from the tournament, Rutgers still had an impressive season, earning the team’s highest tournament seed since joining the Big Ten in 2015.

The Knights also captured back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time in program history and ended the regular season just one win shy of tying the program record set in 1993.

Graduate student catcher Katie Wingert set career program records of 42 home runs, 148 RBIs and 109 walks this season. Senior shortstop Kyleigh Sand also set a career record of 165 runs scored. 

Senior outfielder and pitcher Morgan Smith and Sand were named to the All-Big Ten First Team, with Smith getting the nod for the All-Big Ten Defensive Team as well. Boyd was honored with a spot on the All-Big Ten Second Team, and Herka rounded out the awards as the Rutgers recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Honoree Award. 

The Knights will now wait to see if their name is called to play in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will take place on Sunday at 7 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN+.

For more updates on the Rutgers softball team, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Allison Girardi's work, follow @allisongirardii on X.

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